Publication:  Photography Masterclass Magazine

Issue:  November 2015 (Issue #35)


I’m really pleased to find my photograph of the annual wild Catawba Rhododendron bloom atop a grassy meadow in the Roan Highlands of the Southern Appalachians as an Editor’s Choice in Photography Masterclass Magazine.  I can’t help but acknowledge that this particular photograph–easily one of my most successful photographs to-date–was a bit of a struggle to accept from my own perspective as the photographer.  I borrowed a camera from a family member to use on this particular morning because it had a larger sensor and resolution:  I was clumsy with the dials and controls when the fog began to roll.  I had also switched out a memory card from my personal primary camera into the borrowed camera and forgot to reformat.  Some really rookie-type mistakes for sure.  However, the photograph–and all its warts, both perceived and unknown–remains a testament to the fact that amazing landscapes and environmental conditions together overpower all.  I could easily sweep all of that underneath the rug and simply tout my accomplishments with this post but that wouldn’t fit who I want to be or who I am.  This photograph wasn’t supposed to be.  About the only thing that I did right on this morning was to get myself and my father (who was tagging along with his German Shepherd) to the right place at the right time.  Beyond that, it was largely the power of the scene that has resulted in the success that this photograph has been awarded over time since its inception in the summer of 2012.  So, a huge thanks and much gratitude to the Editors over at Photography Masterclass Magazine for the opportunity and the recognition.  However, it goes without saying that I’m still growing as a photographer and I’m far from a master at the craft.  And perhaps that’s what keeps me going–waking up early, hiking miles, enduring environmental conditions–and hoping that, with the luck of discipline and effort, I’ll get more similar opportunities to this one and each time I’ll get closer to feeling more confident as to my own role in the production as the photographer behind the lens.

The folks over at the Mag have extended a gracious offer to me and anyone who follows this blog and/or my social feeds.  Anyone interested in a special, three-month free subscription to Photography Masterclass Magazine can use the following link–http://photographymasterclassmag.com/mark-vandyke-special–to gain access to full content and articles for a limited time.


Published: VanDyke Photography Masterclass Magazine

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